A short Account of the Events taken place en route to Syria
It should be noted, that the sequence of places where they (the Prophet’s Household) dismounted or again proceeded further is not known, nor has it been quoted in the authentic books. While in numerous books the account of the journey of Ahlul Bayt (a.s.) towards Syria is not even mentioned. While only some of the events, which have taken place en route to Syria have been reported, which Allah willing, we shall quote in this book.
Ibn Shahr Ashob in his Manaqib says that one of the excellences of Imam Husayn (a.s.) are the marvels which have manifested from the place of his head from Karbala until Asqalan, and in between them in Mosul, Naseebayn, Hamah, Hums, Damascus and other places.
We (the Author) say, that it is apparent from the above report that the blessed and exalted head halted at these places. And as regards the place of the head at Damascus (Ra’s al Husayn), it is renowned and requires no mention, while I myself have been blessed with the pilgrimage to that place.
As regards the place of the head at Mosul, as related in Rawzatush Shohada, that when the bearers of heads reached Mosul, they sent a message to the governor of that place to gather gifts and food for them and to decorate the town. The people of Mosul gathered and opined that they should be handed over whatever they ask but should be requested not to enter therein; rather they should halt outside the town. Then they should go away from there and not come in. They halted at one farsakh away from the town and placed the head upon a stone. A drop of blood fell from the head upon the stone, and blood, similar to a stream, sprang from it.
People from all around gathered there and started the mourning rites and lamenting. This continued until the time of Abdul Malik bin Marwan, who ordered the stone to be shifted from there to another place. There was no sign of it thereafter, but a dome was erected there and was named ‘Mashhadun Nuqta’ (the site of the drop).
As regards the events taken place at Naseebayn, it is quoted in Kamile Bahai, that when they reached Naseebayn, Mansoor bin Ilyas ordered the town to be decorated elegantly. When the accursed (Mansoor), who had held the head of Imam Husayn (a.s.), desired to enter therein, his horse refused to obey him. Seeing this he changed the horse and the other one too refused to comply. He changed horses until the head fell off from the lance unto the ground. Ibraheem Mosuli lifted the head and recognized it to be that of Imam Husayn (a.s.) and reprimanded them while rebuking them.
The Syrians killed him and kept the head outside the city and did not enter therein. And perhaps the place of the head therein has been made the site for pilgrimage (at Naseebayn).
And as regards the pilgrimage site at Hamah, it is quoted in some books, while relating from one of the reporters of martyrdom, that I reached Hamah while returning from the Hajj Pilgrimage. Amidst the gardens I reached a Mosque called ‘Masjid al Husayn’. I entered the Mosque and saw a curtain upon a wall in one of its structures. I lifted the curtain and saw a diagonal stone affixed therein. The stone had a mark of a (severed) neck and dried blood was apparent upon it. I asked one of the caretakers of the mosque, “What is this stone, and what traces of blood does it contain?” He replied, “This stone is the one on which the head of Imam Husayn (a.s.) was placed by it’s bearers, while taking it towards Syria, and it’s mark has appeared upon it”.1
As regards the site of the head at Hums, I have found no information regarding it, as also regarding the sites from Karbala till Asqalan. But as regards the site near the northern gate of the courtyard of the Mausoleum of Imam Husayn (a.s.), there exists a Mosque by the name of ‘Masjid Ra`s al Husayn’ (The Mosque of Husayn’s head), and also there is a Mosque behind Kufa, near Qaimul Ghariyy, called Masjide Hannanah, where the salutation of Imam Husayn (a.s.) is recommended, for his head was kept there.
Shaikh Mufeed, Sayyid Ibn Tawoos and Shaheed al Awwal relate in the chapter of the pilgrimage of the Commander of the faithful (a.s.), that when you reach a place called Hannanah, recite two units of Prayers.
Muhammad bin Abi Umayr relates from Mufazzal bin Umar, that he said, that when Imam Ja’far as Sadiq (a.s.) reached a bent pillar en route to Ghariyy (old name of Najaf), he recited two units of Prayers there. I asked him, “What Prayer is this?” He replied,
“This is the site where the head of my grandfather Imam Husayn (a.s.) was kept. When they came from Karbala they kept it here and then took it to the presence of Ubaydullah, the accursed, from here”.
The Master of the Eminent Jurists, the Author of Jawaherul Kalam (Shaikh Muhammad Hasan Najafi), says that it is possible that at this place the head of Imam Husayn (a.s.) might have been buried…… until the end of his discourse, which I do not desire to quote here. And I am surprised as to how he related it. And Allah is ‘the Best Knower’.
As regards the site of the head of Imam Husayn (a.s.) in Asqalan, it is quite renowned as quoted in some books.
It should be noted that there is a site of pilgrimage near Halab known as ‘Mashhadus Siqt’ on Mount Jawshan. It is a honorable mountain of Halab on its western side, which is a graveyard and a place of pilgrimage for the Shi’ah. Therein are the graves of Ibn Shahr Ashob, the author of Manaqib, and of Ahmad bin Muneer Ameli, regarding whom it has been quoted in Amalul Amil, and I too have quoted regarding him in my Fawaedur Razawiyyah.
Hamuwi in his Mo’jamul Buldan says that Jawshan is a mountain on the west of Halab, which has a mine of red copper. And it is said that from the time the captives of the family of Imam Husayn (a.s.) were kept there, it turned futile. One of the women of Imam Husayn (a.s.) experienced labor-pain there and miscarried.
She requested for bread and water from the laborers of that mountain, but they abused her and refused to give her anything. She cursed them and none working in the mountain gains anything until even today. On the western side of the mountain is a place of pilgrimage known as ‘Mashhad as Siqt’ (a place of miscarriage) and is also called ‘Mashhad al Dikkah’ (the place of the bench). While the child who was aborted was named Mohsin bin Husayn.
- 1. It is stated in Kamile Bahai, that the bearers of the head of Imam Husayn (a.s.) feared lest the tribes of Arabs might revolt and take the head of Imam from them. Therefore they took a deviated route and whenever they would reach a tribe and ask for food from them, they would say that this head is that of a rebel.